“Passion rules reason, for better or for worse.” – Terry Goodkind 🕊️
I feel pretty emotional today, sentimental, but also churning like storm waters. I don’t get this way a lot, so it is more interesting and less troubling. I see Terry Goodkind’s quote and I miss him, he died a few years ago, I liked looking forward to new books from him and imagining him somewhere making a stew, or with his family, or getting mad about something, somewhere also alive.
I look at Yosemite ad remember the thud-thud of walking on that path, I was lucky enough to go in the winter, summer and fall, to look down from the peak in a thunderstorm ad a clear day. I really enjoy that place. It is just a beautiful place in my heart that never gets old to me.
VALUES REFLECTION REMINDERS:
SAT Faith in myself. 🎵 SUN Unity, feeling comfortable in a family. MON Proactivity, know what I want. ⚡ TUE Teamwork smarter group work. WED Connection, sharing my passion with the world/accepting others gifts. THR Purpose know what I can do. FRI Creativity thinking of new ways to do better.
GOAL REMINDERS: Last week: We decided to move out of state next year, so it is hard to know what to do, how much to save and how much to invest in repairs ext. The kids were sick so taking care of them took priority.
This week I should get my room, my items, and the common area in order and clean, such as a mouse snuck in on Friday so that will take my free time.
ANTI-DEMENTIA REMINDERS: Stuff coming up: Clean up. Next year: Jan-May 15th Turn in H.A.T.R.
Mental Health: Things are tense, when I have the energy I pick up the yard, but my dad just throws trash peels right on it. I don’t know if normal people are that messy, or if something is wrong with my dad, but my husband and I hate seeing it. It kind of brushes our brains the wrong way.
LONG STORY I don’t know if he is throwing a fit or being rude on purpose or is just gross, but I don’t ask because I don’t want to mislead him that I want to explore his emotions with him or offer emotional support. I have tried to do those things in the past, my dad didn’t care to try my suggestions, which is fine, but the whole thing seemed frustrating and time-wasting and he really needs someone who can communicate a lot better than I can.
If I had to guess it seems like my dad didn’t think about being divorced as much before my husband moved in, I don’t exactly know his thought process, but he kept throwing fits since then, which we told him was okay. And it is okay that it happened, but not okay like we want to keep living together, I have trouble telling him the truth that he is difficult and unpleasant to live with because I don’t think it is fair to try to make him change when we have no intention of staying long term now. I don’t usually pray but I find myself praying in the morning to get through the day without blowing up at him.
“Betimes in the morning say to thyself, this day I shalt have to do with an idle curious man, with an unthankful man, a railer, a crafty, false, or an envious man; an unsociable uncharitable man. All these ill qualities have happened unto them, through ignorance of that which is truly good and truly bad.”– Marcus Aurelius
On a bad day, my husband is idle, unthankful, false, and envious, but he is always sociable with our kids and charitable in general, on a bad day my father is all these things, and for some reason, it is harder to accept that the man fate or God gave to me would be worse then what I chose myself.
I never wanted to see my dad the way he is now, at times my husband is a bully and that was difficult to wrap my mind around when he showed me his normal personality after years of pretending. But though it has been almost 30 years since I looked up to my dad, I had never looked down on him. I try not to look down on anyone, but it is a daily challenge lately. He was so scared of COVID that while practically everyone else in our family got sick and recovered, young and old, and he stayed so scared, it became very difficult to respect that. His sister got sick and recovered, my aunt, all my cousins, and somehow he was just obsessed with his own risk which really drove me away. I am sure a lot of people were scared, and being scared is fine, but he took it to a level that I think will prohibit me from being able to respect his powers of logic or objectivity. It is weird with elders because all the social rules are different than kids. On Reddit I read about a family where the elders wouldn’t stop eating spoiled ketchup, with kids, you just throw away the ketchup, with some elders, they throw such a fit, even if you replace the ketchup they can’t stand the insult of you removing their property, they can’t believe their katchup is spoiled or that the guideline dates are for safety, but rather they are lies to sell more… since moving to Hawaii I have got sick eating my dad’s food so much, 2-day old spaghetti, but with mold on it ext that I honestly couldn’t feel bad for him this week that he is sick to his stomach. He rips open a pack of my carrots or chicken, takes one piece, and leaves all the rest to rot even though we have a ton of glass Tupperware… he leaves bags of dry food open and it attracts mice who poop and eat in the bag and then he keeps the bag and offers my kids to eat some too… the first year we visited we had food poisoning as much as we were well, then we all stopped eating my dad’s snacks and meals and have been a lot better. It may sound like elders who eat old food have lost it and you can just keep an eye on them, but legally it isn’t the case, if they are half-crazy you have no legal grounds to tell them what to do or force them in any way to change.
I wish I could just talk to my dad, just tell him I don’t think the way he prepares food is safe, but when I have he just argues that it is safe ad then he attacks what I cook as too processed, even though it’s absolutely not more processed that what he eats. So after being attacked and ignored enough times, I don’t feel like finding a new way to bring it up, but rather I am attempting to live the best life I can alongside someone who has radically different opinions on most things and I count the months until when my husband estimated we could move, he said next year, so nine more months. I sound very dependent to myself right now, but with one special needs daughter, and two homeschooled kids, I am okay with that, the kids get more from me if I don’t have to work and care for them, I see it as a season of life and it feels right for us right now.
If I could talk to my dad and he would listen I would say 1. Get a psychologist you like to deal with your divorce ext. 2. Take a food safety course so you can hear from professionals how to stay safe in the kitchen. 3. Don’t push others away and expect them to come back, make a choice to either have space or have company and then commit to it. 4. Even if we don’t live with you, we will still gladly help you with things if you stop being disrespectful, that is too much to expect from me.
If I could ask my dad questions without him being rude ack I would ask 1. Are you okay from the pandemic or are you still paranoid and scared? 2. Do you throw trash because you are throwing a fit or do you like to or you think it isn’t gross to be around? 3. Is your memory okay? 4. Do you want to get a part-time caretaker for cleaning or an organizer to help you with your room? 5. Are your monthly expenses alright for whatever your retirement is?
But I don’t talk to him or ask him, because I am here for nine more months and if he fights with me about any of it, then those nine months will be harder ones.
SHORT STORY I’m having trouble living my best life at my dad’s house for the next nine months until I relocate, but I’m doing my best, helping in the ways I am okay with such as dishes and laundry, and not in the ways I’m not going to like pretending to agree with him about raising kids, being permissive to my kids while we live here, comforting him about his anxiety which I feel he needs professional help with.
LIFE LESSON Living with family doesn’t always save time and money, it can be good or bad, but it really depends on the exact situation, how much the way people’s preferred house rules align. Some people are emotionally draining and while some people love to help with that, but other people will be unable to thrive alongside those types of people and never live their best lives together.
Physical Health: I’m a little sick, but not bad. The kids are still sick.
Social Health: Good and bad, my dad is still getting on my nerves, but my husband and sister are trying to support me and I appreciate that.
Saturday: Last week my son was really sick at night. This week everyone was sick with like a runny nose and cough.
Sunday: Last week my husband and I realized this state is not our forever home. This week I felt some turmoil of not knowing if I am coming back here summers or not at all, I really want to know where I will be in the next five years, and I really don’t know. I’m trying to relax about it, but it isn’t easy. My sister was a bit sad that it wasn’t working out even though she did her best, and a good job at that.
Monday: Last week in school we were catching up on Collaborative Theatre. This week I filed the application for federal borrowers defense of my student loan, it has been eight years of having the debt hanging over my finances, I really hope that I can get rid of it and it will be a turning point in the right direction, but either way I need to do my best from where I am.
The book I bought called “Outer Order, Inner Calm” was by an author I like, Gretchin Rubin. It starts by saying that 1. First, we make choices – what possessions to keep and what to do with them. 2. Once we’ve cleared through our things, we create order by organizing, repairing, and attending to neglected areas. 3. Next, we reflect on ourselves, to know ourselves – and others – so that we can take those individual insights into account. 4. Then, once the clutter is vanquished, it’s useful to cultivate helpful habits to maintain that order, and 5. add beauty to make our surroundings more inviting and comfortable.
This is different from Marie Kondo’s order of reflection of your ideal life first, then choices, then clean up, then organize and add beauty.
I’m interested to try it this way.
Looking at the excuses from the book “when I have time, I could do a cool project with this thing” is probably the worst for me, “I can’t deal with this thing until everyone around me agrees about what we should do with it” is a real one as I am not the homeowner, “I don’t have the space to put away this thing properly” is a real but not common issue, “I don’t have the time or energy to decide what to do with this thing,” is probably the most common issue, “I’ll definitely use this thing as soon as I change my life in a major way. I’ll get a puppy. I’ll lose thirty pounds. I’ll form a band,” is something that does happen but not that much.
So my most frequent excuses for not cleaning clutter are:
- “I don’t have the time or energy to decide what to do with this thing.”
2. “When I have time, I could do a cool project with this thing.”
3. I don’t have the space to put away this thing properly.”
4. “I can’t deal with this thing until everyone around me agrees about what we should do with it.”
5. “I’ll definitely use this thing as soon as I change my life in a major way. I’ll get a puppy. I’ll lose thirty pounds. I’ll form a band.”
So questions to ask with this method: “Do I need it?” “Do I love it?” “Do I use it?” “Is it superfluous?”
For clothes does it fit, do I wear it, do I love it or is it useful… Is it in bad shape.
Reading the book so far, I don’t like it that much, it reminds me of Marie Kondo, but at this point, I don’t notice this book inspiring me to tidy up as much as The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up did.
Trying to sprout Lotus still, nothing so far, but the water being so dark makes me think the seeds are breaking their seeds open at least… the temperature should be 70°-85°F/21°-29°C which it almost is… I think it is 68° so if I keep changing the water daily it should take a week. I think I put them in water on Sunday, but it could have been Saturday… or even Friday.
Trying to sprout Guanabana it should take 3 weeks or a month to sprout in the shade, they like some shade, don’t care about soil, and take 4 months to grow a good root system, they can fruit in 3 or 4 years.
So my house is a mess… I see my daughter’s water bottle in the office while she is at the dining table (carried it to its spot in the kitchen), cookie bag (put it away in a box near the office), gummy bear jar (moving it to the bar), found a third book (put them all in the bookshelf), both kids’ tablets in the office (took them to the shelf).
So I stopped and made lunch, and got super mad at the kids for whining and fighting while I was serving them and prepping their food. So mad, but not sorry, just tired of hearing them squabble, forever tired. Meaning I am ready to punish them each and every time they squabble from now on because it was simply too much for me to live with.
Then we read the Outer Order, Inner Calm together and I text two friends about it.
My son self-identified as a big boy when we were on the patio potting up his apple trees, unlike my daughter who identified as a big girl immediately upon hearing the term, my son identified as a baby for a long time. He planted his pea plants right next to his apples.
Tuesday: Last week my daughter had a weird meltdown and lied about her final exam. We are doing more reviews and trying to encourage a positive attitude about missing test questions as an opportunity to learn. But especially I don’t want her just clicking answers, because the amount that she does that is very near the amount that she is failing her final exam by… we added some honesty incentives to try to encourage honesty not only dissuade dishonesty. The actual amount she remembers when I talk to her is very decent, Agriculture 1 was a hard class and it was hard having spring break, break up the flow of it.
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.“– Andy Warhol
Yesterday a reader comforted me about not being able to live with my parents, it was so helpful. I fall into a silly trap of seeing anything someone in the world has done and thinking 1. I can do that. 2. I have to do that. 3. It will be easy to do that. Like if the hair dye bottle has a rainbow sunset I think, okay after buying that hair dye I can just do that myself, I have to try that because I love that style and IT WILL BE EASY. Maybe the first thing is true, but the second isn’t and the third really isn’t.
In hindsight I am half Asian so a lot of my friends live with their parents, it’s considered not our culture to need to live apart, you are told that they care for you half of your life and you for them the other half, it is called Filial Piety. But there are four levels of filial piety, the first is sending money or financial support, the second is taking care of them, the third is caring about them (not a given in my culture that you can or will emotionally care about someone), the fourth level is letting them grow as a person. So perhaps that is the way that I can help, perhaps when I go, my dad will treat my sister with more respect that we don’t actually have to stay, even though we did try to see if we could. Or maybe it’s just part of my personal growth that I have to cleave more space between us, and it didn’t have as much to do with the dog pee on the floor as I thought?
It’s the early morning and sports news is baring through where I would otherwise be writing in a peaceful rainstorm and it does make me angry, even though I don’t want it to, because I want to hear the rain and hear myself think.
Going back to the Outer Order, Inner Calm book, Gretchin also loved the Little House books, as did I, and she remembered that the chores in that book were “wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Churn on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday.”
So here we are on Tuesday, but though I don’t mind baking, I don’t churn, I don’t mend, I do landscape, I do garden, and I don’t think washing will fit on one day…
So let me see wash extra on Monday, landscape on Tuesday, science outreach on Wednesday, garden on Thursday, bake on Friday, rest on Saturday, and clean on Sunday might work for me.
I’ve also been wanting to do more goal setting, meditation/deep breathing, stretching, exercise, playing games (it sounds silly, but when I get stressed I stop and it really helps me relax better if I do play games), and playing music and painting.
So maybe meditation/deep breathing Monday, stretching Tuesday, painting Wednesday or music, playing games Thursday, goal setting Friday, Saturday exercise and a second chance for painting, Sunday music?
In Outer Order, Inner Calm Gretchin suggests Update Spreadsheet on Monday, Process Expense Receipts On Tuesday, Work on Monthly Report on Wednesday, Invoice on Thursday, Make Phone calls Friday.
I think I will do Phone Calls Monday (If Needed) or Clear Memory, Update the School Forms and Notes Tuesday, Update the Website for the Scouts Wednesday, Blog or Website Thursday and Check Finances Friday.
After thinking about what I want to do as a person as an adult and a tech user, it’s super overwhelming actually. So I went back to reading the book.
When I was reading it I was thinking, the way you live with people you hate living with is largely denying the things you have (like loud news ext) by guilting yourself for not being more accepting of what you don’t like, in that way you preserve the ability to be there, but you lose a love of yourself the way you authentically are.
I could blast Mexican music in the morning, but I don’t because I won’t play loud things with anyone still in bed, my dad blasts loud TV in the morning and at night, it irritates me, but I can’t just be annoying as well, there is something in me that strives to be the best I can and though I may fail, I can’t try on purpose to be as irritating as someone else is to show them what it is like to live with someone like that.
But my cousins have lived with my grandparents and now my uncle all their life, and don’t like it, but tolerate it. I am unable to mentally make that choice for the permanent future and it’s been on the back of my mind why not me if they can? I think that if you have to live in conditions that don’t suit you it kills a part of you or strangles that part of you at least and I don’t want to do that, or maybe I can’t do that. Maybe none of us want to do that and some of us can’t? On page 86 of Outer Order, Inner Calm Gretchin says that if we know each other we can live in harmony, for example, that she doesn’t like dog toys on the floor but is fine with dirty dishes in the sink, her husband is the opposite.
I can’t find it in my heart to think that will be the case for my dad and me, right now there are four dog pee puddles from his dog, I’m pretty sure he knows that no one wants to clean his dog pee for him, but he isn’t going to clean it. I think he is okay with kind of forcing others to clean what they don’t want to because he just doesn’t want to do so. And that is worse than the dirt or the cleaning, knowing he will live in filth if you don’t clean for him, knowing he is broken somewhere in his mind, knowing talking to him wouldn’t be the same as talking to an average person… that is approaching the elephant of that there is something wrong with him, something that caused me a lot of pain growing up in a single-parent home with a parent who wouldn’t clean. Getting asthma, getting allergies, getting angry from all the dirt.
Wednesday: Last week we did slime again and a lot of martial arts. This week strawberry starts are going out… they were a huge hit and the lotuses were too. It was a lovely day, one mom brought Easter gift bags, one brought easter eggs to hunt, I brought a dino tent and lotus plants and strawberry plants. The total effect was just a lot of fun and a good feeling. It highlights the bad feeling at home feeling so good with my friends, at ease. and uplifted and supported.
Thursday: Last week we decided to throw a science fair and I told myself I am going to start reeling my spending in. This week I think I spent less, but I don’t really know I’ve been having trouble registering for a BJJ tournament because there were two, two weeks apart here in the same town, which is rare.
Friday: Last week I made bread again, and the dough was nice, but I made so much smoke frying it that I want to find a different way to fry it… This week I found a cool mother Teresa quote:
“Some people come into your life as blessings. Other people come into your life as lessons.”
That really sums up my life this year, many people who are blessings, some who are lessons. I still grieve my friends who left and still grieve how tricky it has been lately to enjoy living with my dad. Though it really does help to look at it as a lesson, I guess I was always hoping it would be a blesing until I read that quote and somehow I can accept it isn’t now. The big tree that got knocked half way over in the big storm got cut down today for $400, I think overall it was worth it because seeing it reminded me of the storm. The Giving Tree book always made me sad, but that is what happened to my favorite tree in this property, it got cut up for wood and only a stump is left… I guess it’s okay, dark but okay. My daughter graduated Spanish 1, the final took 3 attempts, 63%, 67%, 80%, I think that’s still impressive since she is 6.
My week is over, it feels like too many endings all at once, the tree gone, the idea of a future in this state gone, the idea of merging our families gone, new things too, a new martial arts school for me, a new “career” as a fighter beginning again, our science non-profit. So many good things, so many changes. Our new spring chicks are almost ready to move outside… we are helping a friend declutter and we are decluttering ourselves. It feels like a tornado of changes. I’m trying to put a patio curtain up… so the chickens won’t go on, but I feel like my dad will mess it up by leaving it ajar like he leaves the main doors and gates open which I F-ing hate. I know I was bitter this week, yet I want to be, so when I leave and wonder why I left I can remember why I went through the cost and effort of moving.
Something new this week: We got the falling down tree cut down so we could move away from the storm that happened in our area and into the next chapter of life.
Something good this week: I’m going to be more responsible spending, I bought hair brushes for $13 and a $6 book on decluttering. I also spent $18 on netting for the patio and velcro for the patio, then more velcro and a tournament and a new gi and belt.
Something unexpected: Filed my student loan debt borrower’s defense appeal, I thought it would be harder.